Hike the 0.5-mile out-and-back trail to the Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa River near Blue Ridge, Georgia to walk across a historic bridge. This incredibly short day hike on the Benton MacKaye Trail is perfect for all ages.
Take a walk on the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River! The hike to the Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa River near Blue Ridge, Georgia is a quick and easy hike that’s popular with day-hikers.
Located on the long-distance Benton MacKaye Trail, this hike takes you over a long suspension bridge and the Toccoa River rapids.
Read on for my guide to hiking to the Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa River, including driving directions to get you to the starting point.
Getting to the Swinging Bridge Trailhead
Get ready to go off-road! To get to the Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa River trailhead, you’ll have to drive a few miles on the unpaved Forest Service Road 816.
The drive along FSR 816 is about 3 miles. Low clearance cars can make the drive, but you might want to bring a taller vehicle if you have the option.
The drive is an adventure in itself, over a rough dirt and gravel road that winds through the forest and dead-ends at the parking area.
Hiking to the Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa River
The trailhead for this hike begins at the end of the parking area. Follow this straight until you reach an intersection with the Benton MacKaye Trail.
Turn right to follow along the trail to the swinging bridge. The trail descends toward the banks of the Toccoa River for about 0.25 miles until it reaches the river and the swinging bridge.
If you need a break, there is a stump that’s been carved into a chair just before you reach the river. There are access points to the river on your left where you can reach the water and get a view of the bridge before crossing.
The 270-foot-long suspension bridge was built in 1977 by the USDA Forest Service and the Appalachian Trail Club. The wooden bridge is still very sturdy, and it is surprisingly bouncy with every step.
Crossing the bridge is both fun and a little challenging. At the other side, you can head off to the left to cross a small stream and explore the riverbanks some more. You’ll be able to get a close-up look at the bridge’s giant cables here.
When you’re done exploring, you can retrace your steps back over the bridge and uphill toward the parking lot, completing your hike at about 0.5 miles.
More North Georgia Hikes
Looking for more hiking trails in North Georgia? Check out more of these amazing Georgia hikes:
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Have you hiked to the Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa River near Blue Ridge, Georgia? Let me know in the comments!